Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt
Director: Jim Jarmusch
In Cinemas: April 17th, 2014
Only Lovers Left Alive is Jim Jarmusch’s take on the ever-present vampire film, and it’s the last one you ever need to watch. Only Lovers Left Alive depicts the vampire as a poet, or a rock star, a junkie, a philosopher or doomed lover, to absolute perfection.
And they are effortlessly cool.
Only Lovers Left Alive is a brief glimpse into the lives of two vampires who are madly in love and are bound together. They cannot survive without the other, they balance each other out. Light and dark. Ying and yang, so-to-speak.
Or as they’re brilliantly named: Adam and Eve.
Adam, played by Tom Hiddleston, is truly tragic in his nature. He despises the human race, referring to them as zombies, frightened of their own imagination, the key to their own destruction. Adam is a dark, tortured artist, a recluse in Detroit, whose love of music is just enough to get him through the night. A line in the film said it best when describing Adam (paraphrasing); “I wish I had met him before I wrote Hamlet, he would have made a marvellous model.”
Eve however, played by the ethereal Tilda Swinton, is the opposite. She is a beacon of light and optimism, residing in Tangier. She loves the world, the knowledge found in books and writings and appreciates her vampire existence, while Adam broods over the zombies, becoming depressed and suicidal. Swinton is the perfect choice here for a light, ageless vampire, who is wide-eyed and still in wonder of the world. Everything still excites her.
Tom Hiddleston is fantastic, if anything his performance of the lost and tormented soul casts a shadow over Swinton’s breath of light. He consumes every scene that he is in. Hiddleston brings a self-awareness to Adam, an ability to not take the melancholy character so seriously. It is this quality that is proof of the incredible casting choice and the even better acting performance by Hiddleston.
Our film follows the reunion of these two lovers, the destructive tornado that is Eve’s sister Ava (played by Mia Wasikowska) and the depleting supply of clean O-Negative blood.
As with all Jarmusch’s films, the pacing is purposefully slow and while there is no big climactic story or high-point, this film should not be missed.
It is a glimpse, a brief look into the window and lives of two people who were made for each other. With a decent sprinkling of dry humour added here and there.
The films score is truly an amazement and rightly so, having been composed by Jozef Van Wissem who won the Cannes Film Festival Soundtrack award for the film in 2013. It is deep, dark and hauntingly beautiful, making you want to listen closer to it.
It is the wonderful score that is responsible for the trance-like state you feel upon exiting this film. I do hope there are plans for it to be released publicly.
Only Lovers Left Alive will not suit everyone. Some will criticise it for it’s lack of excitement, for its slow pacing, they won’t understand its story or its concept. And I feel bad for these people, as this is a truly remarkable film, one that at its absolute truth is a love story about two people who are eternally bound. And they just happen to be vampires.